Soldiers offered teacher training
Former soldiers will be able to qualify as teachers in two years under a new Government scheme.
From next year, ex-service personnel who do not have a degree, but have experience or qualifications as instructors, coaches or mentors, will be able to sign up to a programme that will put them in the classroom in around half the time it usually takes to become a teacher.
The move is part of a bid by ministers to encourage members of the Army, Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy to consider teaching as a career.
The Department for Education (DfE) also said that former military personnel who already have a degree will be handed bursaries and able to enrol on teacher training courses with extra bespoke training. Education Minister David Laws said the schemes would help ex-servicemen and women to make the move into the classroom.
But a headteachers' leader raised concerns that the programmes would not provide the right preparation and support for teaching, and warned against creating a "military ethos" in schools.
The two schemes are part of the Government's Troops to Teachers programme.
Mr Laws said: "Many members of our inspiring armed forces possess the skills and expertise relevant and transferable to the classroom - leadership, discipline, motivation and teamwork. Every child can benefit from having these values instilled in them.
"We want to capture the ethos and talents of those leaving the armed forces, and bring this experience into teaching. We know that our highly-skilled servicemen and women can inspire young people and help raise educational attainment. Troops to Teachers will make it easier for those who have already contributed so much to our country to continue their brilliant work - this time in the classroom."
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said: "There is no doubt that some ex-military personnel have the potential to make excellent teachers, but they need the right preparation and support. From what we've seen so far, this programme lacks both.
"For those without a degree, one day a week at university over a two-year course is not enough. Classroom experience is important but there is whole body of knowledge about learning, brain development, behaviour, not to mention specific subject content, that they will need."